Friday, December 26, 2008

I never run out of quotes

At times the world can seem an unfriendly and sinister place, but believe us when we say that there is much more good in it than bad. All you have to do is look hard enough. And what might seem to be a series of unfortunate events may, in fact, be the first steps of a journey...

~Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events

Saturday, December 20, 2008

You know the thing about chaos. It's fair.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Do you know what I know?

Said the night wind to the little lamb,
Do you see what I see?
Way up in the sky, little lamb?
Do you see what I see?

A star, a star, dancing in the night,
With a tail as big as a kite,
With a tail as big as a kite.

Said the little lamb to the shepherd boy,
Do you hear what I hear?
Ringing through the sky shepherd boy,
Do you hear what I hear?

A song, a song, high above the tree,
With a voice as big as the sea,
With a voice as big as the sea.

Said the shepherd boy to the mighty king,
Do you know what I know?
A child, a child, shivers in the cold,
Let us bring him silver and gold,
Let us bring him silver and gold.

Said the king to the people everywhere,
Listen to what I say,
Pray for peace people everywhere,
Listen to what I say.

The child, the child, sleeping in the night,
He will bring us goodness and light.
The child, the child, sleeping in the night,
He will bring us goodness and light.



I hope this Christmas season during all the hustle and bustle that you take a second and know what I know -that God is good, and that we are all blessed.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Once there were two women,
who barely knew each other.
One you don't know yet,
the other you call Mother.

Two different lives shaped to make yours one
One became your guiding star,
The other became your sun.

The first gave you life,
and the second taught you to live in it.
The first gave you a need for love,
And the second was there to give it.

One gave you emotions,
The other calmed your fears.
One saw your first sweet smile,
The other dried your tears.

One gave you up - it was all that she could do.
The other prayed for a child,
And God led her straight to you.

So, you ask me one day, heredity or environment
what are you the product of?

Neither, my darling, neither.

Just two different kinds of love.

-Anonymous

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!











Thursday, December 04, 2008

Hope

We put up our Christmas tree tonight. We had just finished straightening the branches (it's an artificial tree and it's on it's last leg, more on that later), when I ran upstairs to find my favorite ornament. I found it - wrapped gently in paper and then again in bubble wrap, and stored in a box marked EXTREMELY FRAGILE. I took it out of the box and watched the lights from the tree reflect on its shiny surface. I'm not even sure who gave me this ornament - it might have been Document Solutions - a vendor I used for the 8 years or so I worked downtown, and who always bought their clients a unique ornament for Christmas. I really think it may have been my friend Tish, though, but I just can't say for sure.

It's a penguin. A cute little penguin, with an adorable round little belly, red shiny shoes and a red and white scarf. It's made out of a very fragile material -like glass, but much, much more fragile. It glitters and sparkles. Its cute little head is covered with some sort of gold-colored winter hat that is what I think of as a babushka. It's my little Russian penguin. Every year I hang it on the tree, and think of someone who might one day come from Russia... but now may come from somewhere much, much closer. Tonight as I hung my little penguin center stage of my tree, he sparkled more than ever. He sparkled with hope, sweet hope, the thing with feathers that we all know perches in the soul... and sings the tune without the words... and never stops... at all.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

More pictures from Cape Cod




I figure I should look through my old vacation photos in case it's a while before I take another trip. :) What a beautiful place!




And you thought your dog was cool...


Sunday, November 16, 2008

Sorry my posts have been a little few and far between lately. I have been a bit preoccupied. And I imagine it's only going to get worse. :)

Fear not, for I am with you; I will bring your offspring from the east, and from the west I will gather you; I will say to the north, Give up, and to the south, Do not withhold; bring my sons from afar and my daughters from the end of the earth.
Isaiah 43:5-6

Admittedly, we are not going to have to go quite as far east as I had originally planned, (Russia/Eastern Europe) but we are going east...

For this child I prayed; and the Lord hath given me my petition which I asked of him.
1 Samuel 1:27

My heart is full with hope.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

pictures I like


my windowsill




mexico



I found some old pictures of my good ol' goldfish Tubby. Rest in peace, Tubby!




Wednesday, October 22, 2008

It's only hair!







FEEL THE PUNCH!!



If you would like to donate, you can visit Michele's page here:

http://main.acsevents.org/site/TR/MakingStridesAgainstBreastCancer/MSABCFY09Mid-South?px=8015219&pg=personal&fr_id=11697&et=y8yUu1fM6wU5i-WaoVR5kA..&s_tafId=194216

and my page here:
http://main.acsevents.org/site/TR/MakingStridesAgainstBreastCancer/MSABCFY09Mid-South?px=8128269&pg=personal&fr_id=11697

To those of you who have already donated....thank you...

FEEL THE PUNCH! (That's our slogan. We say it often. :) )

My boss. Oh, my boss. She is quite the trooper. I admire her for that. And for her sassy spirit. For how she always knows just what to do. For her caring and kind ways. For the way she appreciates me. For her sense of humor. For her strength. And for her courage.

I'm walking in the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer walk this Saturday. My boss started a "little" team for the walk and named us the Fighting Striders of Smyrna. She sent out a few e-mails and set our goal at $5,000.00. A few weeks later, our team is 65 walkers and growing, and we have raised nearly $19,000.00. Three people at work shaved their heads slick (and two of them are women!) and I dyed my hair pink in honor of the cause. It has pretty much faded now, to a nice fall shade of red, but I will post some pictures of it that were taken the day after I did it.

I'm so proud of us! We are the number two team for fundraising in Middle Tennessee - right behind O'Charley's. And they have like 130 stores in 15 states or something. (I did used to work there, so that might not be right, but it's probably not too far off.) We're just a little group of Smyrna-nites who said to O'Charley's, and to cancer.....FEEL THE PUNCH!!

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Music :)

I know I've said this before - it's rare that I like a song the very first time I hear it. Most songs for me are not only about the way they sound, but what the lyrics say and mean to me, and the emotions and memories that are wrapped up in them. So to hear a song and like it before I know what the lyrics mean yet, and before it's personal to me in any way yet, is always surprising.

It happened with the Floating Men in a big way. Kevin and I had not been dating too long. Our relationship was new enough that I was happily spending my day off riding around with him while he paid bills and ran errands. I remember we were at the Handy Mart on Northfield in Murfreesboro. He was going inside to buy us something to drink, and just before he got out of the truck he put in a CD and said, "See if you like this." It was the Floating Men, and I did. I went out the next day and bought every single CD they had, and a CD player for my car. The next day! It was that good. And 10 years later, I still love 'em.

It's happened again - just today. I've heard of Kings of Leon, but I've never really listened to them. Today while I was cleaning, I kept hearing some commercial on TV over and over again for their new CD. I could tell just from the little snippets they played that I would like it. So I just downloaded the whole CD - and I love it.

I love it when that happens. It's the little things, right?

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

hmmmmm



Well, you just never know what's around the corner, just like I said last night.
The particular surprise around the corner to which I am referring, however, could be a good thing.
It's just too early to tell.
So I won't say anything else, other than ...hmmmm.....you just never know what's going to fall from the sky.
And no, it's probably not what you're thinking.
Matter of fact, I would give you 500 guesses, and feel pretty safe you wouldn't get it.
That's all for now.
Cross your fingers.
Stay tuned.
Enjoy Somewhere Over the Rainbow - look over to the left and up a little.
Click play.
Let yourself dream a little.
You just never know what might happen.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Cancer sucks

Cancer took both of my grandmothers. One when I was seven years old, and one when I was 33. On Labor Day weekend this year, it took my friend Jason. And now every day I watch my boss struggling with it. Struggling to hold it together when she talks about what will happen. Struggling to walk. Struggling to think clearly. Struggling to complete tasks at work. Struggling to even make it into work. Struggling to get to treatment. Struggling to just keep going.

I don't have anything especially profound or insightful to say about any of this. Just that it sucks to see people hurting. It sucks to feel helpless and scared. It sucks that there's not a cure. It sucks that sometimes it seems like cancer is everywhere.

It really puts things into perspective, and reminds me that life is short, our times together are precious, and you just never know what's around the corner.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Today I learned...

1. Chili made with Boca soy burger is pretty tasty.
2. My boss is pretty awesome. (I didn't really learn that today - I already knew it - she just greatly reinforced it today.)

Surely there is more, but this is all that comes to mind.

Happy weekend!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

I'm a posting fool tonight...


I don't think I ever posted any photos from our trip to Vegas earlier in the year. Here are some random favorites. This is where we stayed.



I just like this.



Yes, there is glass between us.



We saw this rabbit one day on the way out, and I just had to take his picture.




Today I learned that:

1. A good friend of mine is starting law school in the spring.
2. I don't really care for Orville Reddenbocker Natural Buttery Garlic popcorn.
3. I'm really not sure how to spell Orville Reddenbocker.


(I did not claim that the things I learn everyday will be important, or serious. And surely, you didn't expect them to be, did you?)

Need a focus!!

I'm jealous of some blogs-the ones that are devoted to a single idea, that go in one direction, that have one focus. Did you ever see the one that is devoted to sightings of signs that are written in all caps, except for the l? It's called lowercase l, and it cracks me up that someone noticed that, and then turned it into a blog. http://lowercasel.blogspot.com/

And then there is the one devoted to the misuse of quotation marks. Love it, love it, love it.

http://quotation-marks.blogspot.com/

I tried having focus once, remember? I was going to share 30 secrets in 30 days. Uh, yeah... that didn't work.

New plan: Every day (that I post) I will post one thing that I learned that day. They say you learn something everyday, right? We'll see......

Saturday, September 13, 2008

My new favorite song

I took off that other post about Thriving Ivory because it automatically played - and that's just annoying.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S38-mjy5NtA

Oh, Happy Dog!

video

Thanks, Sports Com! What a great way to end the pool season - a "puppy plunge" where only dogs are allowed in the pool. We had a great time. Bailey is truly a city dog now, I guess. Here she is relaxing in the kiddie pool by the fountain.









We were one of the first ones to arrive. Some of the dogs took a while to warm up to the water, but not Bailey. Here she is overlooking her kingdom. I think she was thinking, "This would fit in our back yard!"






Lounging poolside, that's my dog.

















Thursday, September 04, 2008

More from Chicago






We spent Labor Day weekend in Chicago. This was taken at the Navy Pier. It reminds me of some Floating Men lyrics. I'm sure you're surprised...

If I could do it over

I'd own a souvenir stand

On some dust covered highway

On some boarded up strand

Where the ghost of a thrill ride

Looms, creaks, and commands

Lost armies of seagulls

On a kingdom of sand

Monday, August 25, 2008

Go here and enjoy!

http://cakewrecks.blogspot.com/

Here I go again with the quotes

Well, even in that deep misery I felt my energy revive, and I said to myself: in spite of everything I shall rise again, I will take up my pencil, which I have forsaken in great discouragement, and I will go on with my drawing, and from that moment everything has seemed transformed in me.

~Vincent Van Gogh

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

inspired to run

I hope I am not re-posting something that I posted about last year already ... that would be a sure sign I'm losing it, wouldn't it? I'm too lazy to go back and check, though, so at the risk of repeating myself, here goes....

I was watching the Olympics Sunday night - one of the women's races. It made me remember how awesome it feels to sprint. I hate running long distance. I have tried to like it. I like it in theory just fine, but it's like cranberry sauce was to me as a kid. It looks attractive. Other people seem to like it. But it doesn't work for me. Oh sure, I go through these spells where I'm going to "be a runner." I'm going to "take up running. " I'm going to "train for a 5k." We all know that just won't last, though, don't we, because deep down I don't like running. But sprinting, now that is a different story all together. Sprinting I do like. And watching the Olympics made me remember that, and remember what a fool I made of myself 4 years ago due to being inspired by the Olympics:

Four years ago I was watching some Olympic race, and I remembered, just like I did this past Sunday night, how awesome it feels to sprint. To really stretch completely out. To give all you've got. To feel like a machine. So I decided, at around 10:30 p.m., that I would go sprint down the sidewalk. My thinking: Kevin was asleep and couldn't stop me, and it was dark so the neighbors couldn't see me. It probably wasn't the best idea given that I wasn't exactly in sprinting shape, and again, it was dark, but I was inspired, and hey, when inspiration strikes....

I laced up my shoes. Crept out the front door. I even did a few stretches. (Normally I don't stretch. Never have unless someone forces me to. I can hear you now, gasping and tsk-tsking at my lack of stretching, but it has worked for the past 30+ years. Plus Kevin tells me every day about the perils of my no-stretching lifestyle. He tells me enough for all of you, believe me!) I walked out to the sidewalk. Took some deep breaths. And I was off! Sure, I was a little rusty and hesitant at first. And sure, I was scared I would fall on a crack in the sidewalk. But man, did it feel good. Stretching out. Reaching with the arms. Working the legs. I was feeling pretty good. I stopped and turned around to sprint back. Just as I started back, a dog suddenly appeared, barking his head off and chasing me like I was an intruder. I thought he was going to eat me! Then I realized it was just Jimbo, the neighbor's schnauzer. Apparently my sudden burst of speed looked out of the ordinary to him, and so he had gone after me in total attack mode. His owner came running over to get him, obviously embarrassed because he was in his boxers. I was obviously embarrassed because I was, well, sprinting in the dark and looking insane. I mumbled something about inspiration and the Olympics and slunk back inside.

This year when inspiration struck, Kevin was up and stopped me from repeating the late night sprint. I'm just glad I'm not inspired to try gymnastics.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Please pray for Jason and Tish

A great guy I know -Jason Myers -is fighting a mighty battle with melanoma. You can read about his fight here.

http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/jasonmyers

You will have to enter an e-mail and set up an account to view this site. It's free.

Friday, August 01, 2008

An old friend said to me today, "It's not too late for me to do what I really want to do. If I die doing it, so what? What's the harm in that?"

Well said.

August 1, 2008


I will start this month off right, by golly. With a post! And one of my favorite pictures, from one of my favorite places.

Just because I can.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

One teeny tiny post

I don't know what good this one little post does. It's not like it makes up for the last 48 days of no posts, but it somehow seemed wrong to let the whole month of July pass without saying anything. So here, in no particular order or sequence, regarding randomly selected subjects, is my attempt to summarize July.

1. On Memorial day my mother-in-law told me she was going to buy a watermelon because it just wouldn't be Memorial day without one. She said she had eaten watermelon every Memorial day for like the last 50 years so, why stop now? Inspired by this consistency, and determined to establish a tradition of my own, I bought a big watermelon slice (like a quarter of a watermelon) on the 4th of July. Unfortunately we did not eat the watermelon until July 17th. It was a little overripe. Why must I procrastinate EVERYTHING?

2. I love making Snapfish photo albums. Check them out -great fun and a great gift, too.

3. Pilates is my new favorite form of exercise. I really liked it when I used to go to pilates classes at the Y, and now I have my very own machine. It is awesome, and unless my scales are broken, it's working.

4. I think I am on my way to having my allergies under control. Until very recently I have been feeling like I was breathing through a very tiny straw, but things are looking up.

5. If you buy your spoiled dog a cool looking dog bed that you saw in Sky Mall magazine because you thought she would like to lay on a mesh bed so air could circulate under her and cool her, and because you thought she might enjoy that better than laying in the dirt or on the deck, then be prepared that your dog might push the new dog bed out of the way so she can return to the dirt. Try to take deep breaths and remind yourself that she does not mean to snub you, your gift, or the time you took to order the bed, attempt to put it together, fail, have husband put it together, realize it is too small, put it back in the box and take it to the post office to be returned, pay for the shipping to return it, wait patiently for the credit to apply to bank account, order bigger size bed and put it together. She has no idea how much trouble that was, so just smile and be glad you have a dog and a yard, no matter how hard that might be.

6. Dunkin' Donuts coffee has a powerful hold on me. Someone needs to find out what they are putting in that stuff to make it so addictive. (I know - sugar.)

7. Get out of your head and into your life.


...more cohesive posts to follow in August....or so I hope...

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Under Pressure

Ding ding ding da da ding ding
NOT
Ding ding ding da da ding ding
(Anyone remember that?)

So... not posting for such a long time makes me feel a little under pressure....the longer I try to decide what to say, the more it seems that what I say should be important. Poignant. Moving. Perfectly encapsulating the last few months. The best post ever. Goodness knows I've had enough emotional fodder to create a multitude of posts. But lately I'm something that I have rarely, if ever, been - speechless -or rather, postless. Usually posts just flow out of the nooks and crannies of my brain without much effort at all, but this one hasn't been so easy. Each time I start to post I'm painfully aware of the tone - too light? too heavy? too angry? too flip? So I stop. Unable to post about anything else but the elephant in the room/blog, but not really sure what to say, either, I stop. So it feels good to start at last.

As usual, I'm going to use the words of someone else (Josephine Humphreys) to help me sum things up. I have probably quoted her before - this quote is from one of my favorite books, Rich in Love:

Waiting, I felt entirely simple, that is, all of a piece, one-parted. A month earlier, I had considered myself complicated, tangled as hopelessly as someone can get in the course of a young life. But now, here I was, period. ... To my surprise I was nothing but myself. I was simple and...unscathed, yes. But I would not forget.

So I'm back to myself, mostly. Feeling less complicated and less hopelessly tangled everyday. I've been forced to inventory my life and I have to admit that I'm pretty lucky. I'm surrounded by love from all directions- love that is so strong that it is tangible. I'm rich in love. It has comforted me, and cheered me, and sustained me- and for that I will always be grateful.

Saturday, May 31, 2008

Adios May

Couldn't let a whole month pass without a post. Even if it's just a tiny post like this one. June should be better!

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Catfish Queen


Well it's Fish Fry weekend in the city of the World's Biggest Fish Fry. I was going through some old books today and found a "book" we put together in my senior English class with the fabulous Ms. Rhea. I laughed when I read my entry - it was about Fish Fry, and was dated April 28, 1989. I figure with timing like that, I should share:
The sun beat down, setting the pavement on fire. The hot, moist air coupled
with the large crowd made for difficult breathing. People lined both sides of
the street, sprawled on chairs, quilts, or on the ground. Some sat in the backs
of trucks, on cars, and some stood. Others walked up and down the street calling
to friends as they passed. Some people wore shorts, some were in bathing suits,
and some were in jeans. Toddlers ran around on the grassy lawns in their
diapers, their little tan feet hopping back and forth. Dogs tied to lawn chairs
sat with their tongues out, trying to find shade. The air smelled of hot dogs,
cotton candy, and hot asphalt. Men pushed carts loaded with novelty items like
balloons, snap-n-pops, whistles and stuffed animals. Small cramped trailers were
hosts to long lines of people wanting hot dogs, snow cones, and Cokes.
Clowns roamed in and of the crowds selling balloons and making little
children laugh. Beauty queens on flowery floats rolled by. Little girls twirling
batons almost as big as them strutted by in their leotards. Girl Scouts and Boy
Scouts rode proudly by, throwing candy to the crowd. Bands marched, following their ever-moving directors. Music filled the air. The big horses with heads held high marched proudly, bringing up the end. Slowly people began to collect their belongings and leave. Paper littered the streets, the sidewalks, the yards, everywhere. Another
Fish Fry parade was over.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Hello again

I'm really not sure what has been keeping me so busy lately, but it hasn't been blogging. I've had pretty poor posting habits lately. Must be spring fever. So, let's catch up:

Running: Had some knee pain that scared me, so I took a week off. Maybe I'm too old to run!
Soccer: Thankfully, someone else stepped up and saved those kids from me and me from them. And to think I almost agreed to that lunacy....what is wrong with me?
Meat and diet: I had chicken twice today. So sue me. But overall, my meat consumption is way way down. I crave veggie burritos from Blue Coast Burrito. MMMM MMMM My soda consumption is almost non-existent. I have slipped a bit on the coffee here and there (once even at Starbucks -oopsy.) I have to say that I can tell a real difference in my energy levels lately. I think I was getting more caffeine that I realized, and it was affecting my energy.
Home improvements: Painter will be here next week. There is now no wallpaper anywhere in my house. It's all gone! And after many agonizing attempts to choose just the right shades, all of the paint colors have been finalized. Who knew there could be so many shades of brown? It's ridiculous, really. Terra Brun (Sherwin Williams) is my current favorite brown. It's an earthy, reddish brown, but very dark. If you visit my bonus room (that is slowly but surely going to become a media room) you can see it for yourself!
Transportation: Last week I rode my bike to work. How's that for some alternate transportation? It was the most awesome thing. When I got this new job and I realized that it was possible for me to ride my bike, or even to walk if I had to, I could not wait to do either one. After driving 50+ miles a day for 8 years or so, the thought of riding my bike to work sounded so ridiculous and wonderful that I could not wait to do it. So, last Tuesday, I put on my little bike helmet, (some girl at work pointed out it was not very fashionable, and I pointed out neither are brain injuries) put my work clothes in a gym bag in my basket, bagged up some dog treats to fend off ravenous canines (like that would work, but it made me feel better), and headed out. It was glorious. The weather was perfect. No one honked or tried to run me off the road. I got to work on time. Life was good. I turned into a chicken, though, when I thought about how much traffic there would be on the way home after work, so I rode it home at lunch and drove my car back. I can't wait to do it again!

Hope you have enjoyed my little update, and hope everything is well with you.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Those who can't do, teach

I'm not sure where that quote comes from, and I don't necessarily think it holds much truth, but it may just apply to me pretty soon. A friend of mine, in a state of desperation and obvious poor judgment, has asked me to coach a soccer team. You don't remember me playing soccer, do you? Of course you don't. I never played soccer. I have never even watched an entire soccer game. I don't know the rules, or the jargon. But these are 6 year old kids, and apparently all you have to tell them is: Run! Kick the ball! Go that way! So I may help out, at least as an assistant coach. Could be fun. Could be a source of blog topics, anyway. We'll see.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Warning: Soap Box Ahead / Meat lovers beware

I have a radical new (radical to me anyway) way of eating and I feel awesome. My taste buds have changed, just like this way of eating (I refuse to call it a diet) promises. Water tastes really good. Fruit tastes amazing. Cravings are down. I'm not hungry -in fact, I'm completely satisfied. I think this is the healthiest, most sensible that I have ever eaten.

Here's what I have cut out:
Milk (gasps from the audience)
Meat (more gasps, a few snickers)
Sugar
Sodas (I can't believe this one)
Coffee (Really shocked at this one, too)
Most processed foods

Already this week I have had more oranges than I have had in probably the last 8 months. I've had bananas, pineapple, and strawberries. I've had squash, tomatoes, celery, zucchini, onions, red, yellow, and orange peppers, carrots, water chestnuts, sweet potatoes, spinach, chard (a leafy green vegetable that I cooked like turnip greens, wasn't bad at all), broccoli, black beans, and brown rice. I've had peanuts, pistachios, whole grain cereal, chai tea, and soy milk. And that's just this week.

There are so many wonderful and healthy foods out there. But we don't want them because our taste buds are all screwed up from the processed crap that we eat. We are so used to foods filled with high fructose corn syrup that natural foods just don't taste right. We don't really think about what we eat. We get our nutrition advice from TV- we drink milk because the commercials say it does a body good, -and the dairy manufacturers paid for the ads. We eat lean mean like chicken because it's supposed to be good for us -and the poultry people paid for those ads. We use Splenda and Equal and Sweet-n-Low and other fake sweeteners, even though there is scary, scary research out there about each and every one of them -like it took aspartame something like 8 times to get passed by the FDA. But wait, don't be fooled into thinking those things are so bad that you'll just have good old natural sugar. Good old natural sugar isn't good - or natural. It's been uber-processed, refined, stripped of any good qualities it once had, and then bleached because apparently they think people wouldn't buy sugar if it weren't white.

We don't really think about what we put in our mouths. We eat meat because it's there. Because we have always eaten it. And I know, I have an advantage here. While some of you really and truly love meat - I can tell from the visceral reactions I have got from people when I tell them I am trying to give it up - I really could take it or leave it. I do enjoy a good grilled hot dog. I love BBQ. Occasionally I crave pork chops. I like bacon. (Noticing a pattern here? I'm a real pork lover, eh) I used to say that I loved chicken, but the truth is it's the most tasteless meat out there, and what I love is what's on the chicken -like honey mustard, or BBQ sauce, or cheese, or spinach, etc. So it's been relatively easy for me to give it up. I'm not saying I will never have meat again, believe me. I had some this past weekend. But I'm definitely trying to avoid it for the most part.

Why? Because you do not know what you are eating if you eat meat. If you eat meat you are eating growth hormones and antibiotics. Every time. It's not the old days anymore, and your chicken did not come from Farmer Joe. It did not eat corn in a grassy field before being carried to market in a little red pickup truck. In all likelihood it sat in a cage barely big enough for it to fit in and was fed antibiotics to stave off the infections caused by its nasty living conditions, and hormones to make it bigger so someone could make a buck. Little girls are entering puberty at a much, much younger age now than ever. The culprit? Hormones in the meat they eat.

I'm sure many of you will think I have gone off my rocker. That's OK, that's nothing new. And while I suppose that everything above that I have read might not be true, it sure makes sense to me. Besides, I'm quite the animal lover. As Sandy says, I'm a hormone away from PETA. So when I think about what I am really eating - a COW, not a burger, or a CHICKEN, not a chicken tender, a PIG, not a pork chop, it's even easier for me to say no thanks. Especially when I think about how many animals I eat in the course of one year. Ew.

So, that's that. If you are interested in reading what I read (actually I listened to it on CD) to come to all these conclusions, it's a book called Skinny Bitch. As you might could tell from the title, the author has a little potty mouth -admittedly for grabbing attention, but a potty mouth nonetheless. So if you can look past that part there is some really, really interesting information in there.

Ta-ta

Obviously there is a spy

reading my blog and reporting to Kevin. No way he just happens by every time I mention him, but it happened again. So, who is it? Which one of you is selling me out?

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Sorry for the delay in posting.....

It's Kevin's fault. OK, not really. But that's what he gets for not reading this. So watch out - if you stop reading I might randomly blame things on you, too. The last time I made a comment like that, Kevin happened to read it the next day. So, we'll see if he happens by again....

I've been busy! I am "training" to run a 5K race. I am walking one in April and running one in June, hopefully. It's been (gasp!) nearly 20 years (IS THAT RIGHT, CAN IT BE POSSIBLE THAT I AM THAT OLD, HOW CAN THAT BE?????????) since I last ran 3 miles without stopping. We'll see how it goes. I'm not a very good runner. I'm one of those that just....stops. I don't necessarily stop because I get out of breath. I actually am pretty good at controlling my breathing. And I don't stop because my legs are screaming with pain or anything. I just always.....stop. I lose concentration or something, and I say well that's enough, and I'll just stop. Not very good at fighting the fight. Kind of quick to give up when it comes to running. So we'll see how this goes. Feet don't fail me now. (More accurately, knees don't fail me now.)

I'll keep you posted.

Monday, March 10, 2008

http://www.09h09.com

Oh my goodness, this blog cracks me up. This guy takes a picture of himself every morning at 9:09 a.m. I put a comment on his blog that it's a great idea for a blog and a clever way to have a reason to take a photo of himself every day. I take pictures of myself all the time, but I have no reason, so I just end up looking vain. Brilliant, this French guy.

Good advice

Your destiny is not tied to the people who walk away from you.
-Joel Osteen

Saturday, March 01, 2008

Real stories from real moms

http://inthemotherhood.msn.com

Check this out. Real moms submit funny stories about being a mom. Winning stories are featured in episodes portrayed by Jenny McCarthy, Chelsea Handler, and Leah Remini. Funny stuff on here.

What a great idea for a blog

http://peoplereading.blogspot.com/


Wish I would have thought of this one. Check it out.

Friday, February 22, 2008

30 days, 30 secrets, come on, did anyone out there really think I would stick to that? I'm not THAT disciplined, and I don't know that I even have 30 secrets. So there.
I was in New York last weekend, and you would think that of all the things I saw there that I would have something else to comment on other than something I caught on TV. Wrong. It just caught my eye - OK, actually my ear -as I was getting ready for bed one night, and it ties in nicely with my new favorite song, so here goes.

It was an interview with Matthew McConaughey(that is really tough to spell -try it) and he was talking about how he thought it was important not to have unfinished business. At first I kind of brushed the interview off - I don't remember who the interviewer was, just that at one point I thought he seemed a little too impressed by a shirtless surfer dude who's made some bucks playing in some movies. That doesn't mean the surfer dude knows what he's talking about, right? Just that he's been incredibly lucky, right? But the more I listened, the more I realized that maybe Matthew has a point. He was talking about unfinished business, and how it's no good to have any. How it changes the way you feel when you wake up in the morning, or how it changes the course of your day if you're not having to look over your shoulder the whole time about something that you should have finished. Maybe it's a friendship. Maybe it's a relationship. Maybe it's an ex-employer. Whatever it is, we all know there is a right way and a wrong way to end things, and wouldn't life be much simpler for everyone if we all made clean breaks and carried less baggage because of it? Simple, I know. But it made a lot of sense to me.

And so on to my new favorite song. At least my new favorite Floating Men song. They have a new album, and, honestly, the whole thing is just kinda weird to me. I usually get their music, or at least get what I think they are trying to say, but this one is kinda weird. Anyway, there is this one song, though, that just speaks to me, hokey as it sounds. It's one of those songs that I liked from the instant I heard the opening strums. When I listen to it, I play it over and over. I think it's about unfinished business. About that one relationship you had that you can't come to terms with. You can't compartmentalize. Or rationalize. And for reasons that make absolutely no sense, you hope that, if you should die before this person, that they would at least shed one lousy tear. I get that. Do you?

"I'd trade our tallest days
Or, hell, our widest years
If you'd stoop to grace my grave
With a single final tear
For all we used to be
For all you lost from me

We piled our wildest dreams
At Laughing Buddha’s feet
And defiled our childish schemes
With feats of light and heat
With sweet and clumsy sins
We'll never know again

I'd trade our finest years
If you'd save one final tear for me

They build retirement homes
On our amusement parks
They plow up human bones
In madmen's salvage yards
Whatever else they find
Nobody seems to mind

They pave our vacant lots
With jewels and precious stones
Our manifestos rot
In madmen's catacombs
Whoever else I've loved
Never measured up

I'd trade our finest years
If you'd save one final tear for me

It's not about my age
I'm not a slave to time
This body's not a cage
I'm not afraid to die
But I'd trade a thousand years
If you'd waste one lousy tear

I'd trade our finest years
If you'd save one final tear
for all we used to be"

-The Floating Men
"Pleasurado"

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Secret # 2


OK, two days, two secrets. So far, so good. Drumroll, please.......
I like to watch America's Next Top Model marathons!!
I usually watch them at night, after I have gone to bed, which seems less wasteful, because it's not like I'm missing doing anything productive, well, other than sleeping, anyway.
It always makes me want to wear lots of makeup, or have a crazy hairdo. It makes me practice smiling with my eyes! Oh, that Tyra. She does make me laugh!


Monday, February 11, 2008

30 secrets in 30 days


I saw something a group was doing on Flickr where you post 30 secrets in 30 days, and a picture to illustrate. Based on my posting habits, mine will probably be more like 10 secrets in 40 days, but I figured I would give it a whirl. I'll start with a secret that probably is not a secret, and a picture that was posted last Halloween.
I secretly wish I could get my nose (or my eyebrow or my lip or something) pierced. I think it looks cool. But I never will, for a few reasons. #1 My mom would physically harm me. (maybe a bit of an exaggeration, but not much. I know this because I made her think it was real, and she was aaaannnngggrrrryyyyy) #2 The nose thing just grosses me out when I really think about it - I mean, what happens when you have a cold? Ew. #3 How would I look when I'm 80? #4 What would the mayor think? OK, just kidding - that is not a reason, totally a joke. That was just kind of fun to say. Above is my picture to illustrate. I love Halloween! Time to be that person you are afraid to be the other 364 days.


Sunday, February 10, 2008

Hey, Red!

I am having a bit of a mid-life crisis, I think. Actually, no, I think it has nothing to do with my age, and much more to do with my newly found free time. I have not yet come up with a constructive way to spend my free time, so I am feeling very, very restless. Plus, things have been slow at work. A snail's pace would be faster. It is quite a change in pace, quite a change. So I am a bit restless. I've always had a dreamy, restless spirit anyway. I have never, ever been perfectly content with what I have. (I have never really thought of it exactly that way before. Hm.) I always want to do more -at least I say I do-I want to write, and be a P.I., and start some crazy business, and blah blah blah. I felt that way even when I was working long hours. Imagine me now with all this time! I will either really start doing some of these things, or perhaps I will go stir crazy. We'll see.

In the meantime, I quelled my restless spirit by getting red hair. Overall, the effect is not that dramatic, but a few streaks here and there are a red color that does not occur in nature. It's my rock star hair. If I could find the camera, I would share. Let's hope I find something else to do with my time before my next hair appointment.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Picture on the run


I am well aware of the fact that I should not take pictures while driving. I will admit that it sounds horribly unsafe. But I just stuck the camera out the window and snapped whatever it got -really. It's not like I was looking through the viewfinder or whatever it's called. Really. I had my eyes on the road. I just liked the way the sky looked this day, and I wanted to capture it. Turned out OK, I think.

GREAT THINKERS OF OUR TIME


Brotha man







Joy Joy Joy




You are Blessed

A few years back some co-workers got me a book for my birthday called Hugs for Women on the Go by Stephanie Howard. I picked it up the other day and read a little chapter called "You are Blessed." I thought it was pretty good so I am going to share.

In everyone's life, there are times when the grass looks greener on the "other side." But the next time you dream about trading your demanding life for one that looks more appealing, think about this: Many people would give their eyeteeth for just a little bit of what you have. If you're single,you enjoy freedom. If you're a wife, you have a lifelong companion. If you're a mother, you witness the wonder of childhood.

Where you are is exactly where God wants you to be. He has placed you here for a purpose. No one else can touch the same lives you touch -your life and calling are unique. Take a look at all the wonderful things about the life you've been given, and you'll realize that through the good times and the struggles, you are blessed!

Pretty good stuff, huh?


Tuesday, February 05, 2008

I used to catch an episode of Rescue Me on FX every now and then. Rescue Me stars Dennis Leary as a NY firefighter in post 9/11 New York. In one episode a firefighter reluctantly attended a group therapy session in an attempt to deal with the trauma of 9/11. One by one, the group members shared their feelings of loss and anger and despair. The firefighter, who had been skeptical of the benefits of therapy, listened intently to the others’ stories of grief and feelings of hopelessness, and seemed to be identifying with the group. He finally found the courage to speak, and asked one of the men where exactly he had been during the attack. I don’t recall the exact answer, just that the man had been far away from the attacks –like in Maryland. The firefighter was livid. He began questioning everyone in the group and discovered that he was the only person who had actually been present at the attack. He started screaming and cursing about how he had lost his best friends that day, how he had pulled dead bodies from burning buildings, and how he had seen things that no person should ever see. He was outraged at the other people’s anger. He bellowed at a crying, sniffling man to suck it up and get over himself and cry about something that really happened to him – that he didn’t deserve to be upset.

I feel a little bit like that crying, sniffling man -extremely sad for something that happened to someone that I didn't know, and somehow personally affected even thought I'm not. I can’t stop thinking about the O’Charley’s manager who was murdered on Sunday morning, and frankly, I am surprised at the intensity of my feelings. It has been on my mind constantly. As soon as I heard the news, I called my friend who is a manager at the same store to make sure he was OK, and to get the whole story. As he relayed the story, I could see every detail in complete clarity. The parking lot. The back door. The lights from Mrs. Winner’s. The sound the back door buzzer makes. The way the place would have smelled –like a mixture of food, soap, and steam. The radio on the kitchen line. The cooks whistling as they hurried to finish cleaning, doing a slipping, sliding dance across the wet floor. The servers as they checked each station and counted their money. And finally, the manager. In a tiny, dingy, cramped office. He would be counting all the money from the day. Checking each server out and listening to them groan about their worst customers or maybe talk about their plans for after work. Recording the day’s sales, noting anything that would have affected the sales for next year’s reference – the weather, an event in town like a sports tournament, or even a television show. Believe it or not, there are many factors that affect restaurant sales. I remember the night of the Seinfeld finale –the restaurant was basically empty – but of course, that was pre-Tivo era. The manager would be rushing around, in a hurry to get home, but still paying attention to every detail. Is there enough silverware for tomorrow? Are the microwaves clean? The shams? Are all of the lights off? Are the tables and chairs clean? Were the bathrooms cleaned properly? Are there any stray balloons that might later set off the motion detector? (It has happened.)

I know these details because I spent a little over a year in that same restaurant, in that same cramped little office, doing the same thing that Nader Bahmanziari was doing that fateful night. And I can’t get his image out of my head. Even though I didn’t know him, and it has been nearly 8 years since I closed that restaurant down, I feel deeply affected by this tragedy, and my heart goes out to his family and to all the employees who thought that night was like any other, and who will now never be the same.

The restaurant world is a tight community, and if you have ever worked in one, you know what I mean. I have not found that type of camaraderie in any other job. Something about the long hours, or maybe the teamwork that is necessary to run the place –it creates tight bonds. Eight years later, I talk daily to people that I met at that O’Charley’s – one of them being my husband. Although I can't begin to imagine the grief the family is feeling right now, I can somewhat imagine the grief that those employees feel for this tragic loss. That same O'Charley's was rocked by another senseless death in 1998, and I remember the immense effect that it had on each and every employee. Just last year, 50 or so people gathered for lunch in the back room of that O'Charley's in somber grief and disbelief at yet another senseless loss. And today, as the family mourns and the employees struggle to pull themselves together and get back to work, a few miles away, at a 9-5 desk job, in a different zip code, I feel a little bit of their pain.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

"Early Saturday Morning" or "Ridiculously Spoiled Dogs"


(Kevin might kill me if he saw this, but that's what he gets for never checking my blog.)


Manners

Manners are a sensitive awareness of the feelings of others. If you have that awareness, you have good manners, no matter what fork you use.

~Emily Post

Today at lunch I played racquetball for the first time. I did not have high hopes. (Anyone ever seen me play tennis? Or ping-pong, even.) As much as it pains me to admit it, I do not have the quickest reflexes. Still, I was hopeful. I really liked the idea that it was impossible to lose the ball. You're trapped in this square box of a room with it. No hitting it into the street, or onto the neighboring court. No constantly running after the ball. I liked the idea of that.

So, how did it go?..... I liked it! I liked the way it sounded, too. I liked the way my tennis shoes (NO BLACK SOLED SHOES ALLOWED!) squeaked on the (wooden? is it really wood?) floor - it reminded me of basketball days gone by. I liked the way the ball made a popping sound as it smacked the wall. And I liked the cartoon-like whirring sounds that were made either by the ball zipping by, or by the air through the racquet.

All in all, considering that neither I nor my partner had ever played, and the only instruction I had was, "First there is a dotted line. You stand behind that while the other person serves. The person serving stands behind the next line, and the ball must hit the front wall and land behind the third line" (at least I think that's what he said), I think we did pretty good. We laughed alot, so I figure that worked our ab muscles, at least.

So, stay tuned. There may be amusing racquetball stories ahead. The most amusing thing today was the imprint the goggle strap made on my hair......(GOGGLES MUST BE WORN AT ALL TIMES!)

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

www.foundmagazine.com

This is an interesting website - if you are nosy (or is it nosey?) like me. I prefer to call it inquisitive, or naturally curious, but whatever.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Time is flying this January! I remember that it did last year, too. Last January I was consumed with work. I remember working late all the time. Many times Kevin would be in bed when I got home, and I would collapse in his giant recliner and watch the Sopranos while I ate dinner. I watched it obsessively that month and the next, eventually watching every season and catching up to the new season. I had watched it sporadically over the years, but it's different when you watch it all in a row like that. I really got into it. I could do without all of the violence, but I loved the depth of the characters, the struggles they each had - sometimes the struggles were completely unspoken, given away only with one look. One brilliantly acted, strategically placed look. Don't get me started! It was an amazing show! So that month was peaceful in a strange way. I swear I don't remember doing anything that month but working and watching the Sopranos.

What a change this January. Today I worked until -gasp- 5:30! At 5:05 my boss came down to my office and yelled at me to go home, to remember that I had a spouse. I laughed. If she only knew, I thought. If she only knew!

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

If you get to thinking you're a person of some influence, try ordering somebody else's dog around. ~Will Rogers

Monday, January 07, 2008

Hello, 2008!

Well, I have now been blogging for a little over a year and a half. I am bound to get really good at it soon. Hope everyone is having a happy new year. So far it's been pretty good. More later, gotta run.